Yakima Stoneflies

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Chad Lewis, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    Posts: 885
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Ratings: +153 / 0
    Going to the Yakima this weekend and looking to tie up some skwalla stones. Anyone have a favorite pattern? I did read that during this time of year it's better to use an adult pattern that's not "big and bushy", like a stimulator, because of the low water. This'll also be the first big test of my fly tying skills, so bring it on! I'll post pictures for the entertainment value:thumb:
  2. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,722
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +244 / 0
  3. riseform Active Member

    Posts: 1,100
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +291 / 0
    I can't get the search function to work for me right now, but look up Pat's stone and Al's skwala on this site.

    Here's a nymph pattern from the FFF page I've had bookmarked for awhile but never personally tied. If the link doesn't show the "Yak Skwala", search down the page for the same name from 2004.
    http://www.fedflyfishers.org/Default.aspx?tabid=4478

    Here's the real one from almost exactly one year ago. Notice how silly legs would imitate the tail and antenna nicely on a dry.
    [IMG]
  4. Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

    Posts: 2,141
    Twin Bridges, MT
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    stop in and talk to jason at the evening hatch fly shop. ask for the pats. welcome to the darkside.
  5. Matt Baerwalde ...

    Posts: 864
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +242 / 0
    So do you guys have good luck with those yellow stonefly nymphs during Skwala time on the Yak? I've always used brown.
  6. SteelieD Non Member

    Posts: 1,001
    In a van down by the river
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Pat's. Easy to tie and very effective. I tie 'em in different colors, as long as it's brown!
  7. Chris Puma hates waking up early

    Posts: 966
    stumptown
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Does anyone know the exact material used for the legs on a Pats stone? I am using this rubber floss but it's way too flexible.
  8. Wayne Jordan Active Member

    Posts: 1,061
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    Super Floss
  9. Chris Puma hates waking up early

    Posts: 966
    stumptown
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    that's what i thought it was. maybe i just bought the wrong brand. i have something similar. i believe it's a little smaller in width. for some reason it doesn't stay straight and ends up curling.
  10. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,494
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +792 / 0
    My experience is that a dark profile works better for Skwala dry fly patterns on the Yak. One pattern I use is basically a black stimulator (black palmer-hackle over an olive or lighter body and black dyed deer/elk hair wing) with a bright thorax and grizzly hackle. I put a bit of white yarn or z-lon over the hairwing to help my old eyes. I also tie a simpler and lower-floating fly with an olive body (without palmered hackle) and natural brown elk hair wing and grizzly hackle on the thorax. The latter works better in low water or quiet water.

    Dick
  11. Dean Edwards Fllyfishy

    Posts: 73
    Puyallup, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    I was told it was superfloss also, but it did not seem to match the color on one of the flies I brought back from Montana last year. I went on a hunt to find exactally what it is on the fly I had. I found a great material developed by Brian Chan and Phil Rowley called Midge Stretch Floss sold through Stillwater Soulutions. They carry it at Puget Sound Fly Company. The color I use on the Brown Pats is called Dark Summer Duck.
  12. Norm Denton New Member

    Posts: 9
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hey, Chad... Is your father's name Chips?:thumb:
  13. Mike Wilson Yakbowbw

    Posts: 660
    Everett, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Here is a picture of a Stone Fly I use when I fish the Yakima, I call it my Yak Stone. It has worked well on the Yakima, Rock Creek, Naches, and other places too.
  14. Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    Posts: 885
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Ratings: +153 / 0
    Hey, Chad... Is your father's name Chips?


    Nope. Wrong Chad.
  15. Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    Posts: 885
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Ratings: +153 / 0
    Thanks for all the pattern ideas. I tied a few for this past weekend and am happy to report that they caught nothing :( Not much happening with rising fish in general, although there were some adult skwalas in the bushes and a couple seen floating down the river. I totally used the wrong color for the body. Otherwise, I think my pattern's okay.

    Thanks,
    Chad
  16. papafsh Piscatorial predilection

    Posts: 2,229
    Camano Island, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +63 / 0
    Chad, most of the fish I actually saw at the surface, last saturday, Ringer to Big Horn, were taking/sipping emergers. Though not as flashy as true drys, they should not be forgotten. An all purpose emerger presented right in the surface film to a known fish, can be just as satisfyng and fun, (to me anyway) as a dry. That fish I pictured in my report, the one being taken from the net, was taken on an emerger after I saw it rise. Just an FYI for you.

    LB
  17. sashjo Member

    Posts: 533
    Lakewood, WA.
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    I agree going darker than most patterns. The adult Skwala on the west side is black with a little yellow on the underside of head and thorax.
  18. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,489
    .
    Ratings: +474 / 0
    As noted above, most Yakima River Skwalas are quite dark in color. Some (though not, by any means, all) will have some yellow markings on the underside of the thorax. Skwalas will not be seen hatching since the nymphs crawl ashore at night to molt into the adult form. It is actually rather rare to see adult Skwalas on the water. They mostly become available to the fish by falling from overhanging streamside grass and brush where they hang out while mating and (in the case of the females) preparing to oviposit. On a a float from Red's to Roza yesterday we saw only three on the water, which I considered an unusually large number. However, the fish apparently recognize them and actually seem to take up feeding stations in (sometimes surprisingly shallow) water where they may be expected to be encountered).

    We fished dry Skwalas all day and did fairly well in spite of the water coming up about 200cfs during the course of the day. Here's my best fish of the day (17 inches) along with an adult Skwala, a nymph (showing the yellow markings that sometimes persist into adulthood, and my Slackwater Black Skwala imitation.
  19. bwillroll Member

    Posts: 180
    bellingham, wa, whatcom.
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    O.K. This is a little embarrassing because I know that there are some experienced and creative tiers on this board. I'm planning a trip to the Yakima the last weekend in March and am tying up some Stoneflies. I took the advice of some on this board and created what I could with the material that I had. I'm looking for suggestions for improvement and whether or not you think my sample fly will catch anything. I went with black deer hair for tail and wing. Olive body, and yellow thorax. I didn't have any black hackle, so I had to use brown. So tell me what you think. Presenting my very first Stimulator.
  20. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,494
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +792 / 0
    Preston, I like that fly. It is very similar to what I use, but for the yellow foam head and your tails/antennae.

    Bwillroll, your fly looks like it will work. I might clip the underside of the hackle on the abdomen and thorax to permit it to ride a little lower in the water. I'd also go with a little less deer hair in the tail, if you are tying more of these. For proportions, I'd recommend shortening the thorax and extending the abdomen a bit. If you have some natural elk or deer, try imitating the fly Preston posted for a second pattern.
    D